Giant list of Magic Styles
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Active Casting is any type of spell casting that requires some sort of "recipe" to generate the appropriate magical energies before the user can channel the necessary power to activate its properties. Common requirements include several of the following: gestures or movements, verbal commands, the possession of certain items or components, or holding onto a specific set of thoughts or feelings. Any active spells that require considerable energy or power will almost certainly require an expenditure of components (such as burning a rare plant, or crushing an ostrich egg), or the expenditure of one's own energy (mana).
In the same way that specific sequences of ingredients together can make potions, specific sequences of these gestures and verbal commands can produce specific energies that allow certain forms of magic to flourish and interweave in an appropriate manner. When those energies are exposed, the caster can then exert the mental control to finish the spell. Mages that perform this type of magic exclusively can easily be muted with simple things like binding their hands (whereas a sorcerer is not so easily muted).
Alchemy is the creation of magical consumables (potions, food, etc) or activated components (such as slamming a potion on the ground to cast magic), which is achieved by combining alchemical components (ingredients with magical or high-energy properties) under specific circumstances. Alchemy is more akin to being a scholarly "cook" than any sort of mage, since it does not require the alchemist to channel energy. Energies that mix during alchemy are done through the ingredients. Anyone can learn alchemy if they are taught the process of a recipe, although it generally takes a highly skilled energy-sensitive intuitive (divining mages that can also perceive energy) to create new alchemical recipes.
Arcane Alchemy is functionally similar to Alchemy, except that the recipes involved require an active element of channeling energies to properly complete them. Only a magical alchemist that understands how to channel the energies properly for their recipe can prepare the consumable. This makes the alchemical recipes more difficult (and requires a greater degree of skill and precision), but also tends to be much more powerful than standard alchemy. Alternatively, magical alchemists can save on many costly or uncommon components that non-magical alchemists would be forced to regularly rely on.
Astral casters are mages that have learned how to move their energy bodies outside of their physical bodies when their physical bodies are resting. This is referred to commonly as astral project or out-of-body experiences. This occurs naturally at times for some mages, but an astral caster can train this to such a degree that any time his physical body is relaxed (or unconscious), the astral form wakes up.
Astral projection enables the mage to interact on the astral realm about as effectively as a lucid dream - the weaving of the astral energies is much easier when it doesn't have to be passed through a physical body. This also makes the astral caster quite competent at any magic that requires only the astral world - however, this still makes it very difficult to work with the physical realm. The most common forms of magic used while in the astral realm are spiritual magic (interacting with spirits), mental magic (telepathy, empathy, etc), energy constructs, imbuing and working with the astral side of magical crafts, and other non-physical magic. Powerful astral casters can influence the physical realm - knocking them unconscious won't necessarily be the end of them.
Astrological bodies in the heavens cast very powerful energies throughout the universe. Their influence on magic can be quite impressive, especially on certain worlds where the nearby system is particularly strong. Alignments of various planets or rare events can cause certain energies to flourish, and others to shrink. When these events occur, the world (or certain elements of it) may change. In some cases, only a certain type of thing may change - maybe all of the bodies of water in the world begin to give birth to magical fish in small quantities, or maybe anyone with a sufficiently developed willpower develops minor telekinesis during the duration of the event. Magical awakenings are often the result of powerful astrological events.
Magical events of this nature can affect almost anything, and also greatly range in power. There are many mages that will study the effects of astrology and use these skills to determine the best times to perform certain rituals or to identify what sort of energies to expect in the upcoming years or months and how to utilize that to their advantage.
Attunement is a powerful method of acquiring magic by "connecting" ones energies to another energy node, item, or magical energy of some nature. Some mages feel that the attunement is like a shared frequency of energies (hence the term attunement), while others feel that it's more akin to the creation of a cord or wire between the two entities.
An attunement can be to an item, a location (such as a magical node), or even to another person. The effects may vary depending on the type of attunement used. Some magical items require attunement before they can be used. This can make the item more powerful, but requires a commitment of energy by the mage. However, attunement to natural sources of energy (such as a magical node) will generally boost your energy while in that area (though "area" may be as far reaching as the entire planet in some cases) or provide some sort of magical advantage. It is common for mages to seek out magical nodes and use them to enhance their powers - attunement often accelerates this empowerment.
By carefully clearing and attuning one's own aura to specific energies, a wizard can gain certain benefits. Aura magic is almost always passive, and generally relates to an area of effect type of magic, such as emotional projection, supernatural charisma, longevity, or protection against harmful energies or spirits. Aura magic requires an investment of time to properly shift the energies within the aura, and the aura may require upkeep as well.
Chakra Attunement is a variation of attunement magic and natural magic that enables some practitioners of magic to cleanse their chakras and enable them to provide natural powers. Each chakra corresponds to different abilities that the magic user can gain, such as the root chakra providing physical advantages and the crown chakra providing spiritual advantages. Different types of people have different strengths in their chakras, and the amount of power a chakra has will indicate what level of power the natural gifts related to that chakra can be. Someone with an extremely powerful mind's eye chakra, for example, may be able to dominate a mentally inferior subject.
One of the major advantages of focusing your chakras in this manner is that you can refocus them later to use different powers. This process generally takes several hours of meditation, but could allow the practitioner to adjust his heart eye chakra to change from a gift of empathy to a gift of passive energy gain.
Chaos Magic is magic that is extremely powerful, but extremely unpredictable and comes with a price. Practitioners of chaos magic are inclined to tap into as much power as they can without concern for the precision that orderly magic expects. Chaos magicians don't fully comprehend (or at least don't care) about the complexities of the underlying energies and will force their will onto it to make something happen.
The result of casting chaos magic is unpredictable. In some cases, the intended spell will occur without any additional complications. However, there is also a chance (often a good chance) that something dangerous will occur. Chaotic occurrences and dangerous activity tend to happen a lot around chaos mages, though they can also be very effective at accomplishing things that wouldn't be possible without them.
Chaos magic is not its own form of magic, but rather is a method in which nearly any other form of active magic can be utilized. Whatever type of magic is being used (sorcery being the most common), chaos magic will considerably empower the strength of the intended effect. Despite its chaotic nature, one still has to learn (or inadvertently discover) how to utilize chaos magic through their respective fields of magic accessible to them.
In some worlds where magic is protected by gods, chaos magic will simply cause a whiplash sort of effect at the mage casting it, such as a temporary curse or painful experience to cope with. This will often inflict some sort of unusual penalty on the mage that will complicate their lives until it is relinquished.
Circumstantial Magic refers to magic that, for some reason or another, is only available in certain circumstances. This may something such as the magic is only possible during a full moon, only works in the presence of an oak tree, or only within five minutes of drinking a liter of water. Most circumstantial magic is used intentionally when creating magical rituals or powers to ensure that specific energies will be present (thus making the opportunity for the spell to be more powerful). However, some circumstantial magic is natural and happens automatically in those instances (such as a werewolf transforming on the full moon).
Committed Magic is a form of Natural Magic that, once discovered, requires the commitment of a certain amount of personal energy (mana). Because of your personal energy commitment, these powers tend to be much stronger than the typical passive abilities provided by Natural Magic, but may also limit the mage in their other magical abilities.
Committed Magic requires some method of activating and deactivating it. The most common method is meditation, but some worlds may have a more instantaneous method such as a simple thought trigger or a spell to cast. When a committed power is deactivated, the energy that had been spent to activate it will need to regenerate normally.
In exchange for pleasing a deity, such as serving their agendas or worshiping them profusely, some deities will offer power or magical services in return. Though a deity will not always choose to do this, many of them do it to encourage useful followers. Praying to a deity gives energy and power to that deity, and deities appreciate those who do it for them. They favor those who serve them even more, such as those who carry out their bidding.
These exchanges can be beneficial to magic users that specifically seek out deities for this reason, as well as priests of the deity's religion that may later come to release certain benefits can be earned from their relationship. If a deity is being worshiped without any sort of expectation in return, they prefer these relationships - they get the advantage of being served without having to do anything. However, someone actively seeking out the completion of their agendas in the world is a powerful ally to have, and deities may volunteer the opportunity to empower them with the right tools. In many worlds, magical agents will faithfully serve various deities in exchange for power.
Simply by restricting your diet to certain foods, using certain supplements, having certain preparation types for your meals, using certain spices, as well as restricting your diet to certain times, quantities, and other properties, it is possible to unlock the power of certain natural gifts and energies. Mages that employ these techniques often have to eat on a very specific schedule with very costly, uncommon foods that must be cooked or prepared in advance - something that a typical adventurer would find extremely difficult to achieve.
Though a diet can be very complicated to weave the proper energies through one's systems, the mage can get interesting benefits that fall into the "natural gifts" category, or may be able to open up chakras, improve their auras, or enhance their magical energy for spell casting purposes. The better the advantage acquired, generally the more specific (and complicated) the diet is. Mages that use these techniques as a supplement to their other magic will almost certainly tailor their deity to enhance the abilities they seek most. Diets tend to be somewhat specific to the mage and must be learned through careful stuy, though generic diets (such as the "Alchemical Diet") exist as a base for what has commonly worked for others.
Divination is a style of magic that primarily requires understanding the lore behind it. Everyone is intuitive at some deep level, though they don't tend to be consciously aware of it. Divination works by bypassing conscious efforts and letting the subconscious handle the details to tap into that intuition. One doesn't have to actually be magical to use divination; they just need to know the basic rules of what the tools mean.
For example, Tarot cards and runes are not magical themselves; however, they serve as tools that allow for many opportunities of the injection of chaos to result in symbolic metaphors that could unlock meaning to the conscious mind. The subconscious mind can therefore very easily act on its intuitive awareness to make only very subtle energetic changes to result in a metaphor that the conscious mind could understand. In other words, the subconscious mind helps impact which cards are placed or how the runes will be tossed to weave the necessary story that the conscious mind then interprets.
Divination can be greatly enhanced by conscious intuition, and often goes side by side with it, but even those who aren't consciously aware of their intuition can still derive meaning from it. Nevertheless, those that go down this path usually begin to develop intuition naturally due to the amount of energy focused on the intuitive mind.
There are a few forms of druidic magic; the two major categories of this are plant magic and animal magic. Druids can create magical plants that actually perform magic of their own. Though the druids often don't have direct control of how the magic will develop, they can at least provide it with some direction. Powerful druids may even be able to determine the majority of the properties they're interested in. With sufficient time and breeding, druids can create magical plants that behave in a magical fashion.
Magical plants often have a very difficult time reproducing (if it's even possible for them), so conjuring a magical plant doesn't mean you'll suddenly get a full garden of them. Gaia magic is almost always used when working with plant magic to improve the chances of rebirth and the right energies necessary to prepare the magical genetics. All sorts of plants are possible: healing plants, protective plants, plants that alert you of intruders, plants that encourage nearby growth, etc. To perform this magic, druids must spend a lot of time with the plant and tend to it in specific ways. Most of this is intuitively guided, so the druids don't have set practices - those who become one with nature begin to tap into this ability over time.
Druidic animal magic is much like druidic plant magic, but working with animals. Druids, with a great deal of effort, can breed magical animals. This is often considered a more powerful form of druidic magic, but is also more difficult. It is common for druids that work with animal magic to consort with several familiars.
Enchantments are similar to imbuing, except that you put the magic "around" a targeted thing as a surface application rather than the energy being directly infused into it. Because enchantments exist as a surface application, they are easier to add and remove. They are also more susceptible to external energies, meaning that it will usually be a temporary enhancement of the item rather than a permanent one. Even the enchantments that are resilient enough to be permanent are still easy to tamper with for any skilled enchanter.
Enchantments are often used because they are much easier and much faster to do than imbuing. Whereas imbuing prefers a properly tuned item to function effectively, enchantments don't care what the item is made of. Powerful enchantments are often performed by several mages with rituals. Quick enchantments are almost always temporary or very weak.
Energy Constructs are the creation of magical machines or entities in the astral realm (plants, animals, buildings, machines, etc). These magical constructs can perform tasks, just like their related entities in physical reality. For example, a construct could be designed to draw in any dark energies and slowly convert it to light energies. Energy constructs may decay over time if they're not connected to a proper energy (such as a ley line or magical node), or if something destroys them intentionally (such as another mage). These constructs work within the astral, so it performs on the magical plane. This allows considerable control in their functions, but has a harder time permeating through the magical veil to the physical realm. The more energy available for them (related to the type), the more powerful they can be.
Believing is a powerful tool, and belief in something can shape the energies in that thing. If the belief is about a particular symbol having meaning for an energy, then that symbol will begin to attract that energy simply because people have universally corresponded a belief to it. If there is sufficient faith that binds an item to being legendary or powerful, it will become so even if it wasn't before. These effects are much more potent the more people that believe in it. Some organizations will use intentionally create faith magic to instill power into certain ideas, symbols, items, etc. If the belief is spread that a rabbit's foot means good luck, then wielding a rabbit's food can actually help draw in the energies of good luck (though a mage still may need to work on those energies to utilize its advantages properly). Faith magic is a very powerful force, but any individual item may not see any magical effects as a result unless it was a specific legendary item.
Familiars are creatures that magically bond with someone - magical or otherwise. The person who receives a familiar may gain magical abilities through their creatures. Common abilities are the ability to communicate with the creature (sometimes telepathically), extreme loyalty and servitude, and even shared thoughts, emotions, vision, feeling, senses, etc. Sometimes, the user will also experience animalistic powers such as being able to use sonar from bat-familiars, or night vision from creatures that see in the dark. They may be able to call the creature mentally from a long distance (potentially anywhere). Magical familiars may even be able to perform magic, or share that magic with their caretaker.
A foci is a magical tool, used to amplify existing talent. This magic is performed through some sort of channeling device that empowers the caster, and is often directly attuned to the caster. Wizards have wands, for example, which are just amplifying their natural magic through powerful foci. Without their foci, the wizards may not have nearly as much power. There are advantages to having a foci - namely more power - but often this comes at the cost of losing the ability to cast without it. Foci may also require gestures, verbal components, or actions in order to activate them (such as playing a lute).
The world itself is magical, and that power may be greatly amplified in certain areas due to the ley lines, magical nodes, and power wells (such as the crossing of powerful ley lines). Because certain energies are more prevalent around certain power wells, that environment will most frequently have magic or effects related to the ley lines present. For example, one power well may amplify mental energies to anyone in the area, or may encourage death and decay. Powerful ley lines and magical nodes may have a lot of untamed magic in a particular genre of energy, such as an element or a particular type of nature (fire, water, death, chaos, love, peace, mind, productivity, warding, etc.).
There are mages that learn to tap into these magical areas and weave the energies to suit their needs. "Zone magic" is a common branch of gaia magic, where a mage gathers power from the area whenever nearby after attuning to it. They tend to remain close to their power wells of choice after locating them, since they can use the energies for their magic. Magical architecture is also deeply rooted in the understanding of Gaia magic. Powerful magical cities may require the presence of powerful ley lines, and they may tailor the purpose of the city to the nature of the world's energies in the region.
Some true paragons of good, however rare these precious souls may be, are bestowed of such great holy conviction and benevolence that they unlock access to innate spiritual powers without having to have ever had to train for it. The extent or type of their power may vary depending on their nature (or conditions of magic in the world), but it can achieve wonders such as healing people by touch, collecting excess energy naturally, extending an aura of good fortune to oneself and nearby allies, intuitive awareness of what to avoid or what to seek out, strong spiritual or magical protection, and more.
Some that possess these gifts may not realize they possess them since their powers may not be immediately obvious. Even those with gifts like a healing touch may just be instinctively drawn to touch the wounded as a gesture of aid without actually knowing the effect it has.
Imbuing is a process in which a highly energized or magically-tuned item is carefully infused and programmed with energies to fulfill a specific intent. The imbued effects can only be as powerful as the item's magical capacity. If the item does not possess a sufficient degree of raw magical energy to work with, the power of the imbuing will either be greatly reduced or will fade within a short time. Most items can't be properly imbued with any sort of useful effect. Mages will generally only imbue exceptionally well-crafted items, magically crafted items, or items with great importance (such as legendary items or items of historical importance) due to the high energies they possess.
Only a magically gifted mage that understands what energies need to be channeled (and how) is capable of imbuing an item. By infusing magic directly into an item, that magic becomes an aspect of the item until it is reprogrammed by another, the effect runs out, or other circumstances arise to strip it of its power. An imbued power will almost certainly be a permanent fixation into the item, but it is possible to make the imbued effect temporary or only allow a certain number of charges (exchanges greater power at the cost of less usability).
Becoming one with your higher self enables a variety of mages to get insight into the past, the present, and sometimes the future. The intuition guides the user, such as to warn them to avoid certain places, or suggestions on how they may best achieve a desired result. Certain types of intuition also enable the user to develop a psychic foresight of the future, enabling mages to get a feeling or a glimpse of what may happen in a certain instance. Foresight is a tricky business, however, as omens and prophecies can be swayed by circumstances. In other cases, however, certain elements of the future may be nearly solidified.
There is powerful magic in speech and language. Energies react very strongly to the way things are said, the tones used, the style of speech, accents, the meanings of the words used, their connection with one another, the flow of speech, the rhythms, and so forth. Many spells use verbal commands in conjunction, which is a limited form of lingual magic. True scholars of this style, however, train their voice (and learn how to carefully craft words and phrases) to improve the efficiencies and precision of the magic they use.
Masters of lingual magic have made great strides in simplifying a number of magical languages to serve different purposes for different natures of spell casting. However, despite their successes and advances, generic use of a magical language is never as efficient as someone who has learned the precision of lingual magic and tailored it to their own voice patterns and inflection.
Magical Crafting is the creation of magical tools, weapons, armors, equipment, items, furniture, or any other craft. Magical craftsmen need to have knowledge of the magical properties and energies that various minerals, gems, and other magical materials contain. By placing these high-energy materials in proper sequences and patterns, very specific energy channels can be formed that create magical effects. Unlike many other forms of magic, these effects tend to be permanent, since the craft is created with materials that hold their properties naturally.
A magical craftsman does not need to be magical himself if he is just following a set of instructions or blueprints on a magical device. As long as someone has access to the appropriate high-energy materials and understands how to properly align them into the finished craft, they can produce the end result more or less as it was intended. Energy sensitive crafters tend to outperform anyone just following a blueprint, however, since they can sense the magical energies with great precision and use that knowledge to their advantage.
Similar to Gaia Magic, Meta-Weather is the equivalent of weather on the astral plane. The astral world is filled with energies that move and shift just like weather does in the physical realm. A common term for powerful energies shifting into an area is a "metastorm". Metastorms are essentially "storms" of energy that rush through an area and affect the magical energies of anyone in the area. Sometimes, mages can put these energies to good use, and other times the type of energies can cause havoc or unnecessary complications. Though everyone is technically affected by these energies, it tends to be mages that are most impacted.
Mystics have a unique style of magic that many mages wouldn't consider true magic. Mysticism is closely related to the field of energy work and being "one" with the world around them, but with a greater emphasis on being spiritually aligned with certain forces. Mystics tend to have more energy than usual and naturally attract certain things into their life based on their nature. Those who are holy and driven may attract good fortune and opportunities to heal others. Those who are determined to create destruction may attract evil followers willing to do your bidding and destructive opportunities.
Mysticism could almost be considered a form of luck. Through simple "coincidences", the universe helps to place things in the path of the mystic that they are subconsciously looking for. If they consciously seek something out, they may also find that the world provides it for them. Training to become a mystic is very heavily related to a combination of attunement magic and Gaia magic. It involves a fair degree of tuning oneself to the world and allowing energies to flow between, enabling the world to shift things to your nature.
Natural Magic is a mage's abilities that exist passively once acquired. They may include seeing auras, feeling other people's emotions, surface telepathy, improved strength or resilience, or even much more powerful abilities that evolve after training. These powers are generally permanent, though may be limited by circumstantial magic, and usually require no effort to utilize them unless there is a case where intent or focus would need to be involved (such as paying attention to someone's thoughts). These powers may be unlocked through mental training or effort, such as with magical martial arts, long trances and meditations, or periods of study for the gift in question.
Racial magic is considered a form of natural magic (or curse, depending on the perception). Racial magic is fairly straightforward - you were born into a particular species that possesses a magical ability from birth. That power then stays with you throughout your lifetime. Some racial magic may only affect a certain portion of the population, such as only affecting females with brunette hair or only affecting 2% of the population.
Powers are like spells in that once they are acquired they have a singular purpose, although it may be more flexible than spells. For example, a fireball spell may conjure the same fireball each time, whereas a power may allow you to summon a variety of sizes, speeds, colors, etc, based on your current interest. This is because powers don't operate with specific recipes and structures. You cast them as a part of yourself.
This channeling requires more personal power and effort than a spell, however. The advantage of spells is that a lot of the energy work is taken care of in the recipe, and you just provide the final touch - whereas with powers, you're putting a considerable amount of effort to it at the time of summoning. You're just exchanging flexibility for recipe requirements. Some powers may require casting actions to activate them (mostly as an intuitive protection measure so that they don't accidentally go off).
Prayer is a focused intent of making a change to something, just like magic, and the energies behind a prayer can be equally powerful. Most people who pray do not realize the impact their prayers can have, despite the amount of energy they shift when praying. It can be used as a method to grant energies to someone or something very quickly. A prayer for someone to return to good health is, in itself, similar to casting a healing spell. Most people don't know how to properly direct the influence of a prayer, however, so its effect isn't as strong as a healing spell. Nevertheless, prayer is a magically valid technique, even to the uninformed.
Those who are adept at focusing prayer can use it just as effectively as someone using a spell. Learning how to utilize prayers to their fullest extent, however, can be just as complicated as learning magic. There are advantages to learning by way of prayer, especially if it is backed by a deity that has an interest in what you're doing.
Psionics is the use of magic that results in draining your willpower or physical stamina when the power is called upon. This may fatigue you (physical penalties may result), physically harm you (blood magic), or just limit you in how often you can use power (a willpower or magical fatigue rather than a physical one). Some psionic powers can only be used a few times per hour or day because of these different types of fatigue.
Psionic fatigue is usually power-specific, since the mind and energy body have a wide variety of different things that can experience fatigue independently from one another, and each power relies on different energy channels. Because of this, psionics often experience the ability to use multiple different psionic powers, each with its own recharge time.
Psychometry is a branch of intuition that occurs when touching an object and sensing the energies inside of it. Everything in the world contains the energies that compose it or have interacted with it in some way, and those energies store powerful memories. Intuitive people with the right type of senses can tap into those energies and read the lore and history of that object like reading a book. Knowledge of past owners or the area that the images were stored are commonly acquired when using Psychometry.
By tending frequently to a specific set of exercises, meditations, chi practices, or other training schedule, it is possible for a mage to open up energies that enable them to extend their power in a specific field. They may acquire natural gifts, more powerful auras or chakras, or enhance their magical energy for spell casting purposes. As with most types of supplemental magic, the mage often tailors the regiments to work toward a specific goal.
Rituals are spells that involve a variety of preparations. Some rituals may require components, verbal incantations, special circumstances (astrological events, the sacrifice of a beast, a thunderstorm above, etc), the presence of energy nodes or ley lines, multiple casters, and other careful instructions such as how to move at certain intervals of time. Technically, each ritualistic action is just building up a specific type of energy to cast the final spell. There are thousands of ways a ritual could be done to achieve the same result, but the creator of the ritual is responsible for determining how to attract the necessary energies to perform the task they want.
A properly designed ritual being carried out successfully can attract more energy than any other form of active magic. Consequently, it can have an unprecedented degree of power and impact on the world. However, rituals of great intensity tend to be very difficult to coordinate and require special circumstances that can be almost impossible to arrange. Most rituals only have enough precision and instruction in their setup to be good at their intended task (and they often only require one mage, since mages often like to work their magic alone). However, there are some very powerful ritualistic cults that aim for their rituals to be world-changing (often successfully).
Sacred Architecture is the application and proper integration of symbol magic and environment magic at a large scale. It is used to produce buildings and important structures - often structures that also utilize the advantage of ley lines and energy nodes in the world. It is possible for non-magical users to produce certain variations of sacred architecture (such as structures designed strictly from blueprints using symbol magic), although someone who is simply following a blueprint would not create something as powerful as those who can sense the energies they would like to intertwine.
Sensing allows you to sense energies - worldly energies, astral energies, magical energies, energies from prayer, ley lines, power wells, wards, and so forth. Sensing energy can be done in a variety of ways, the most common of which are sensing it as an extension of your body (physical feeling) and emotion. Other people also have "knowing" as a way to sense energy (i.e. you just feel confident that a particular type of energy is there), or are really good at guessing it correctly (subconscious insight), even though there is no conscious feeling associated with it. Sensing energies is very useful, since it can develop into greater insight into just about any form of magic: alchemy, spells, powers, divination, etc.
Scrolls have multiple purposes in the world of magic. Some scrolls are strictly used to help train mages in the art of magic, while others are used to allow someone to quickly cast a power (even if they never possessed it). Scrollcraft is a combination of imbuing and lingual magic, since the caster needs to imbue a spell directly into the scroll and then provide visual or textual instructions that dictate how that power is retrieved on its activation.
Teaching scrolls, which are very difficult to create, will help the user's mind comprehend the magical power infused into it. This will allow the user to train with that magical effect about half as quickly as if he had a magical tutor teaching it to him (but still dozens of times faster than self-learning). Casting scrolls are simply designed to release the power imbued into the scroll on activation. When the user activates the scroll, they have a one-use opportunity to cast the power contained within the scroll and release it.
Despite the name, scrollcraft can be practiced on things other than scrolls. A common variation, orbcraft, is the creation of orbs that are smashed on the ground to release a magical power. This has the advantage of being more powerful, easier to create, and faster to activate than a scroll, but the user is not able to control the spell's effect with as much finesse since the spell is just reacting to wherever the orb was smashed.
Shared magic is the result of bonded energies, linked between two or more people (or, in some cases, items or worldly attunements). These groups of mages may have a reason to link their power together, or it was the result of a master / slave sort of relationship, or in some cases it was nature itself that shaped them (such as being born as identical twins, or aligned destinies).
Those who are bound with shared magic can usually feed off of the other's powers, as well as intuitively understand the energies that the other is trying to channel and react instinctively. This makes the bond very powerful and effective, though tends to limit the users to being together in order to function properly. Physical proximity seems to be a severe factor with this form of magic - separating the two can render them ineffective, as could one falling unconscious. However, there are many variations of shared magic, and not all forms of it have this level of restriction.
Sorcerers exert considerable mental energy on their intuitive senses to interact with the energies of the world at an astonishing rate. They work directly with the raw astral energies veiled behind the world and thread the energies to cause the reactions they seek. Though a sorcerer cannot make effects as powerful as a spell can, they are extremely flexible in their powers. They are not bound by the traditional methods of spell casting to only causing specific effects - instead, they can shape and configure their desires in the moment. For example, a spell caster may have one fire ability, which is to cast a deadly fireball by throwing his hands forward and yelling "emberosus majesta!" while poised in a stance. Whereas a sorcerer trained in the fire element could focus on a torch until it lights itself, shield himself from flames, or douse a fire on the other side of the room without saying a word or lifting a finger.
There are no recipes to follow when a sorcerer want something to happen. They are required to act on their instincts in the moment, and they have a number of ways to go about it. In some cases, they may make use of gestures or words to gather the energies more quickly, or they may even exert their own energies (mana) to enhance their power if time is of importance. The magic takes effect and becomes stronger the more they focus on the energies and work with it. The more a sorcerer trains with a particular magical form (visual illusions, spirit summoning, telepathy, etc), the more effective they become at it.
Soulbound Items are items that are somehow intertwined with you, either because of your chosen destiny, or the result of gods or fate. Soulbound items may be acquired at birth and immediately connect to you at that time, or they may be acquired when in good standing with a deity who is pleased with you or believes you may serve his agenda. Soulbound items are extremely powerful magical items (weapons, armor, useful tools, etc) that will only function for you. They generally empower you to do something that others cannot.
Soulbound items are almost always constructed by legendary standards, often with extremely rare and valuable materials that would identify them as such. Whatever magic exists in the item, however, is limited to the owner. Being separated from a soulbound item may be traumatic, and there are often natural defenses against this, such as an intuitive awareness of the item's location, or for some particularly powerful items, the ability to recall them with a thought.
Soulcraft is the art of making a personal sacrifice to gather energies that can be redirected to a new power. Mages using this form of magic accept the loss of a useful gift in exchange for magic. Common examples may be choosing not to speak, staying blindfolded at all times (so that they cannot see), never crossing over rivers or large bodies of water, not being outdoors for more than fifteen minutes at a time, etc. The loss is something that complicates their lives (i.e. a genuine sacrifice), often considerably, but comes with an advantage elsewhere.
The energies acquired from such a deep, personal sacrifice are then converted into different energies to suit a new task. The users of this magic often lose the capacity for a particular type of magic, but may gain it considerably in several others, or they may just gain one or two natural gifts. The advantages they gain can be quite varied. To begin this process, the mage must spend time identifying their own energies (usually through intuition or spell casting) to figure out what they would lose, and in exchange for what. Then, after sacrificing the thing for a sufficient amount of time, they will finally acquire their ability unless they disregard the sacrifice at any point (such as speaking after a vow of silence).
Spirit Magic & Mediums
The mage (or medium) calls upon the power of a spirit to do magic rather than perform the magic themselves (other than the act of calling the spirit). This field of magic involves being able to interact with spirits, including being able to call them, banish them, bind them, and communicate with them. Spirits may be willing to serve without being bound in exchange for services. Bound spirits tend to try to complicate your life once they're free, but will generally do the task as you describe.
Mediums may also serve other tasks, such as helping someone speak to spirits that have passed on. Others may actually allow spirits to overtake their body for a short time, such as to allow the spirit to speak on their behalf. This is considered extremely dangerous (and stupid) to mediums that have been in the field for a longer time. Younger mediums may not realize the dangers of what spirits may try to possess them if they allow it.
Symbols possess a great deal of power in magic, and are commonly used in many magical forms - rituals, scrolls, magical languages, magical crafting, magical architecture, etc. Though some powerful symbols are very simple (pentagrams, circular patterns, etc), there are also very complicated symbols (such as fractals) that gain considerable advantages for those that can use such advanced techniques.
Magical tattoos can only be created by someone with sufficient magical crafting skills, particularly with an emphasis on imbuing. The infusion of magic into the tattoo also becomes part of the user himself. Though tattoo magic is usually limited, such as for the purpose of good luck, protection, and so forth, it is possible to find the rare individuals that could empower it with much more. Some magical tattoos have the ability to "live" on a user as their own entity, moving between limbs in conjunction with the user's feelings or needs. In order to sustain a magical tattoo, the user will almost certainly need to commit a certain amount of energy to its function.
Symbols in magic hold power, which is extended into written language. Every character in a language, every slanted symbol or character accent, every grammatical structure, every intention behind the language, every prefix and suffix, every way the language interacts with the other words, or even the direction the text is written in can impact the magic.
There are several ways for this magic to be used, since anyone observing the text will be affected by it. That is the driving force behind text magic. It is common for mages to use text magic to enhance their books (such as to give a feeling of importance or to implant suggestions) or secret documents (such as to make people disinterested or extremely confused). Scrollcraft also benefits greatly from text magic, since the user of the scroll can be influenced into the right state of mind or otherwise enhanced while using the scroll.
Mages tend to use languages that are designed to be utilized for magic, especially the languages that are tailored to their particular interests. It is generally accepted that any language could theoretically be used to achieve an objective, though in practice most languages are utterly useless for text magic.
One's perception of things greatly impacts their energies, so visual magic is a very powerful way to influence people. This type of magic is usually done through artwork, such as pictures, statutes, or other forms of art. Mages that are talented with magical imagery can use their skill to infuse magic into their art. Every color, line, or property of a piece of artwork is relevant to the magic being used, and a magical artist must be properly skilled to use it. Once the magical art is finished, it is permanent. Anyone observing the image will be affected by it. Some visual magic is strong enough that even viewing the image peripherally will create an effect. However, the most intense effects happen when paying direct, close attention to the picture, such as to contemplate it. This type of magic only affects the person viewing the craft.
Wards are areas that are highly resistant to magical influence or chaotic energies that will interfere with the existing area. In most cases, any form of magic is resisted (including good magic), unless the ward is specifically tailored with great effort to accommodate certain changes. Any magical energies that pass near a ward (or often even around them, depending on the power of the ward) will be reduced in its effect.
Some people are naturally warded themselves, making them harder to affect with magic directly. This can be intentionally developed as a natural gift, but it will also reduce the capacity of the individual to use any magic - nullifying it very quickly. The stronger the ward, the more difficult it would be to use any active magic. Wards may also reflect or redirect magic if they're skilled enough.
Weaving is an even more open and flexible version of sorcery, though at the cost of great expenditure of time or personal energy (mana) in exchange for limited effect. Unlike sorcery, where the caster studies the effects of specific categories of energy patterns and learns how to interact with those patterns, a weaver can actually change the dynamics of the raw astral energies itself and work with any pattern.
With this style of magic, a weaver could theoretically create any effect given an infinite amount of time in an environment where no chaos was introduced. The nature of energy is change, however, so such an environment would not exist. Still, a weaver possesses the ability to make any change by directly changing the energies of the universe to fit their desires. This process is extremely slow due to the complexity of each task, and all weavers would understand that in practice they are extremely limited to the changes they can make. A visible change, for example, would usually only be possible by an extremely powerful weaver.
The true advantage of a weaver is that because they can see and interact with the raw nature of magic, they can apply this awareness to all other forms of magic they use. This is particularly useful for magical crafters, since the mysteries of magical interaction are now accessible to them. By stacking their perception of these deep, magical forces, the styles of magic that benefit from long-term review (imbuing, scrollcraft, creating rituals or spells, etc) can benefit greatly.
Xiprote is the magical currency of the gods. It is a heavy coin, slightly larger than a typical gold coin, with a very thin, majestic aura of shimmering green and blue that surrounds it. The touch of the coin is somewhat addictive, but the power of the coin is considerably more desirable. Anyone in possession of a Xiprote coin is able to intuitively barter with the gods. They can barter for anything that any of the gods could offer them - money, fame, magic, longevity, their own castle, etc.
The gods will honor their requests in exchange for the barter, but the value of the Xiprote differs between each world. In some worlds, Xiprote may never exist on the mortal realm. In other worlds, however, the gods flood Xiprote through the mortal realm. Sometimes this is for the sadistic purpose of studying the effects of what lengths mortals will go to acquire it, while other times they are given as rewards for service to a particular deity.
In a world where Xiprote is scare (and generally unheard of), a Xiprote coin may be worth a beautiful palace in the forest, the power to read minds, or having the god orchestrate your life in such a way where you become a living legend. Wars could be fought over the possession of a single Xiprote coin in such worlds. In worlds where Xiprote is more common, their bartering value would depreciate considerably.